Policies & Disclosures

AbbVie is committed to being fully transparent and compliant with our policies and disclosures.

Our Policies

At AbbVie, we’re passionate about combining advanced science with a deep knowledge of the patient experience and worldwide health care systems to help people live better, more productive lives.

AbbVie is extremely proud to support patient care through the provision of grants to healthcare and patient organisations. In addition, we take pride in helping to subsidise the cost of ongoing learning of NHS healthcare professionals (HCPs) by providing financial support to attend independent third-party medical educational events and conferences. We feel this is aligned to our commitment to support HCPs, and ultimately the health and wellbeing of the patients they serve.

Collaboration of industry with healthcare organisations, patient organisations and HCPs is essential to advance patient care, gain insights into unmet medical needs and progress the development of new medicines.

Transparency is key to ensuring that HCPs and organisations can continue to collaborate to bring new, innovative treatments to patients while ensuring that concerns about the relationship and payments (to reimburse them for their time and expertise) between HCPs/patient organisations and industry are addressed.

In accordance with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice, AbbVie’s disclosure of funding support is published here.

Patient organisation funding (2015-2017):

January 2017 - December 2017 (Patient Organisations)

January 2016 - December 2016 (Patient Organisations)

January 2015 - December 2015 (Patient Organisations)

Annually, AbbVie publishes an updated list of its financial support of European Patient Organisations. Our publication of the following report demonstrates our commitment to transparent disclosure of our financial relationships with patient organisations.

AbbVie's 2017 European Patient Organisation Report

HCP/ Healthcare organisation funding:

Since2016, the ABPI has required that its members disclose payments to healthcare organisations and health professionals. AbbVie’s records may be found in the public database on the ABPI website here.

If you are an HCP and have an enquiry related to the transparency initiative, please send an email to UK.Transparency@abbvie.com

AbbVie is committed to having a remarkable impact by going beyond medicines. If you would like to apply to AbbVie for a grant, donation or charitable contribution for a cause that meets our requirements, we would like to hear from you.

APPLICATION PROCESS

If you wish to apply for a grant/donation to a Healthcare Organisation or a Charitable Contribution to a Charitable Institution from AbbVie, you can do so by completing the application form and emailing it to ukgrantsanddonations@abbvie.com.

Your application should also include:

  • A full breakdown of funding where possible
  • Any other information which you think will support your application

Your application will be reviewed by a committee, which aims to notify all applicants on the outcome of their applications on a quarterly basis.

Please ensure that you complete all fields and include all relevant information in the fields provided. Unfortunately we will not be able to consider incomplete application forms.

Please note that your application will only be approved once you have received an email confirmation that confirms a positive decision.

If you have any further questions regarding the process, kindly email the committee via the email address provided above.

GUIDANCE FOR APPLICANTS

AbbVie is committed to supporting Healthcare Organisations or Charitable Institutions. The types of project we consider for funding include:

  • Aligned to healthcare well-being and not linked to pharmaceutical products (licensed or in development)
  • Support the local community
  • Promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) focused-education
  • Are local to Maidenhead

AbbVie will make public declarations about any grant/donation to a Healthcare Organisation or a Charitable Contribution to a Charitable Institution that AbbVie has engaged with to provide financial support. This includes, but is not limited to declarations on our website www.abbvie.co.uk.

Funding is limited and will be considered where the content of the project is wholly controlled by an independent organisation and AbbVie has no input or influence over the content. If an application has not been successful, AbbVie will consider any re-submissions for part or full funding of a grant/donation to a Healthcare Organisation or a Charitable Contribution to a Charitable Institution on a quarterly basis.

Please note that grants and donations to Healthcare Organisations cannot be exclusively linked to the use of AbbVie products and the application form must be independently completed without the input of influence of an AbbVie employee.

Projects NOT considered for funding via this process include:

  • Clinical research, including Investigator Initiated Trials and Research Fellowships (NOTE – this must be requested through the UK AbbVie Medical Director in writing).
  • Grants to individual healthcare professionals or commercial businesses.
  • Healthcare Professionals training or development opportunities
  • Travel grants to Healthcare Professionals to attend scientific conferences  (NOTE - these need to be requested through your AbbVie Representative)
  • Patient organisations funding (NOTE – this must be requested through the relevant AbbVie Patient Relations Representative).
  • Religious programmes.
  • Political party sponsorship.
  • Social events (eg:  Charity Balls, Student graduation celebrations).
  • Gap year sponsorship or electives.
  • Charity fundraising outside of the UK (eg: Climbing Mount Everest).
  • Activities that occurred in the past.
  • Grants and donations to Healthcare Organisations exclusively linked to the use of AbbVie products.
  • Application forms completed with the input of influence of an AbbVie employee.

DEFINITIONS:

Healthcare Organisations: Healthcare, medical or scientific association or organisation such as a hospital, clinic, foundation, university or other teaching institution or learned society whose business address, place of incorporation or primary place of operation is in Europe or an organisation through which one or more health professionals or other relevant decision makers provide services.

Charitable Institution: Any not-for-profit institution which does not fulfil the definition of a healthcare organisation.

Patient Organisations: not-for-profit organisations (including the umbrella organisations to which they belong), mainly composed of patients and/or caregivers, that represent and/or support the needs of patients, their families and/or caregivers.

AbbVie Ltd - Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement

for the year ended 31 December 2017

AbbVie believes in the inherent dignity of every human being and respects individual rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We reflect these principles in our company’s core values and in our mission to address the world’s toughest health challenges.

AbbVie supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and key tenets of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. While governments have a key role to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of their citizens, we recognise that companies share this responsibility to respect human rights within their own operations and business relationships. AbbVie applauds the passage of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Our Organisation

AbbVie Ltd is a subsidiary of AbbVie Inc., a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. AbbVie is committed to developing and delivering a consistent stream of innovative new medicines for some of the world’s most complex conditions. In more than 75 countries, approximately 30,000 AbbVie employees are working every day to tackle the toughest health care challenges in the pursuit of better health outcomes for people around the world.

Commitment and Policies

AbbVie’s commitment to human rights is supported by our policies on employment and compliance with laws and regulations wherever we have operations.  We are committed to ensuring that slavery and human trafficking do not enter our product supply chains or any part of our business.  We have corporate policies addressing the need for a safe and fair working environment where the rights of those who work for and with us are respected.

AbbVie’s Code of Business Conduct applies to all AbbVie employees and sets forth our commitment to conduct business with the highest ethical standards and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. It states that AbbVie is committed to maintaining a work environment free from intimidation, violence or threats of violence.  Our employees worldwide certify their adherence to AbbVie’s Code of Business Conduct annually. In 2017, 28,906 employees trained on our code. Further, our employees and contractors are required to promptly report any known or suspected breach of AbbVie’s Code of Business Conduct or other illegal or unethical behaviour.  We offer a number of resources such as our confidential Ethics and Compliance Helpline, a telephone and web-based hotline maintained by a third party for the purpose of gathering information regarding compliance and ethics concerns. Therefore, if there are any concerns relating to a breach of AbbVie’s Code of Business Conduct, these can be raised in confidence and without fear of retaliation.

To further our understanding of human rights and modern slavery topics, AbbVie is a member of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative and Business for Social Responsibility’s Human Rights Working Group.

Expectations of Suppliers

Our suppliers are integral to the success of our company. While we cannot control all actions of our suppliers, we expect suppliers to treat their employees with dignity and respect and to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements pertaining to the fair and equitable treatment of employees. All suppliers are expected to understand and comply with AbbVie’s Supplier Code of Conduct and our expectation that suppliers:

  •  Commit to fair treatment of their employees.
  • Shall not use forced, bonded or indentured labour, involuntary labour or human trafficking.
  • Shall not use child labour.
  • Shall maintain employee files with adequate data to verify ages of employees.
  • Shall pay workers according to applicable wage laws, including minimum wage, overtime hours and mandated benefits as per custom of the country of employment.

Our key supplier network is required to certify compliance with AbbVie’s Supplier Code of Conduct and the above requirements. Additionally, in contractual agreements, we oblige our suppliers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, we are a member of Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), an international membership organisation of pharmaceutical and health care companies that formalize, implement and champion responsible supply chain practices. We support PSCI’s Principles for Responsible Supply Chain Management and have implemented PSCI Audit standards in supplier audits globally. These standards outline that suppliers uphold the human rights of workers and shall not use forced, bonded, indentured, involuntary prison or child labour.

Due Diligence

Annually we conduct internal surveys to monitor the awareness of human rights issues in our workplaces. For the year ending 31 December 2017 there were no human rights issues reported. AbbVie Ltd also verifies and ensures all U.K.-based employees and contractors have the right to work in the U.K.

We engage in the verification of our product supply chains which includes evaluating the risk of human trafficking and slavery. As part of our Global Supplier Sustainability programme, AbbVie surveys and measures our most critical suppliers on their environmental and social practices. Specifically, suppliers attest to human slavery and trafficking criteria including whether they have a written policy against human trafficking and slavery, minimum hiring age and wages in accordance with local/national laws. The survey also assesses whether these suppliers have any human trafficking violations. This may be verified via an additional audit by PSCI.   AbbVie uses this information to evaluate, measure and report progress in enhancing our sustainable global supply chain.

Accountability

Any employee or contractor discovered to be involved in inappropriate conduct or in violation of our Code of Business Conduct, our policies, our procedures and/or applicable laws or regulations, is subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.  Additionally, if AbbVie becomes aware of any actions or conditions not in compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct, we may seek corrective action.

A signed PDF version of this statement may be found here

Our approach to taxes1

AbbVie is a global biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories.  We employ approximately 29,000 people worldwide and deliver medicines to patients in more than 170 countries.  Our mission is to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases.  AbbVie’s financial performance, including management of tax expense and risk, enables that mission.  We are committed to achieving our goals while operating responsibly and delivering meaningful contributions to the communities where we live and work.

Our business activities around the world incur a substantial amount and variety of business taxes.  We pay corporate income taxes, customs duties, excise taxes, stamp duties, property taxes, sales and use taxes, value added taxes (VAT), employment and other business taxes at the relevant levels in all jurisdictions where applicable.  The taxes we pay represent a significant contribution to the communities in which we operate.


Tax governance

Our tax function is managed by the corporate tax department and led by the Vice President of Tax, who reports directly to the Chief Financial Officer.  The VP and CFO periodically report to the audit committee of the Board of Directors.  AbbVie’s approach to the management of tax risk is grounded in proactively monitoring and complying with the relevant tax laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which AbbVie operates in order to ensure that the correct amount of taxes are identified and paid at the correct time. Our business tax processes are subject to internal controls, AbbVie’s Global Code of Business Conduct and external audit review.


Tax function

Our tax function supports the business needs of the company.  Thus, business transactions and activities circumscribe our approach to taxes.  We ensure that the tax positions taken are consistent with the relevant tax laws in all affected jurisdictions, and aligned with the economic substance of the business transactions to which they relate.

To address patient needs around the world, AbbVie’s operating business requires a robust global supply chain.  That supply chain necessitates structures, contracts and transactions among AbbVie’s affiliated companies.  Those intercompany relationships must satisfy local and international tax requirements, which are not always clear or consistent.  We manage that complexity by conducting rigorous analyses, often supported by external opinions, to ensure compliance with relevant tax laws.  AbbVie adheres to the arm’s-length principle in its intercompany dealings, consistent with OECD guidelines and local tax laws.

Level of tax risk we are prepared to accept

While we do not have a prescriptive level of risk, we aim to minimise the risk as far as possible. Tax risks can arise for a number of reasons, including ambiguities in local tax laws, difficulties interpreting those laws in the context of a specific transaction, or disagreements among tax authorities as to their respective rights to tax the profits associated with a particular transaction.  We mitigate those risks in three principal ways.  First, our tax processes, policies and governance function to ensure compliance with tax laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate.  Second, when we identify a difficulty in determining the correct application of a tax law to our situation, we seek advice from external advisors to ensure that any tax positions taken are well supported.  Finally, we engage with tax authorities to ensure that they have timely access to any information needed to evaluate our tax positions and rationales.

Approach to interacting with tax authorities

We are committed to creating and maintaining open and positive relationships with governments and tax authorities worldwide.  We seek to identify and resolve any disagreements in a collaborative and proactive manner, including via participation in continuous audit programmes and advance pricing agreements, where available and appropriate.  These programmes provide certainty for both AbbVie and tax authorities over the tax treatment of AbbVie’s business.

For a PDF copy of this Tax Strategy please click here


References

1 -  We prepared this tax policy statement for AbbVie Ltd. and its subsidiaries to comply with the new UK requirements under paragraph 19(2), schedule 19, Finance Act 2016, and for AbbVie UK Holdco Limited, AbbVie UK Ltd., AbbVie UK Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., AbbVie Biotherapeutics Limited and AbbVie Investments Limited to comply with paragraph 22(2), schedule 19, Finance Act 2016

A comprehensive listing of all AbbVie policies on transparent and ethical business conduct can be found on our Global website here

Joint Working between Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and AbbVie Ltd, is focussed on delivering better healthcare outcomes for Hepatitis C patients in Swansea by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services.  An executive summary outlining Joint Working between Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and AbbVie Ltd can be found here.

An executive summary outlining Joint Working between Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and AbbVie Ltd, focussed on
delivering better healthcare outcomes for rheumatology
patients in Leeds by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services can be found here

Click here for further information about AbbVie’s 2017 Gender Pay Gap data